I want to begin the week with a concerted effort to show mercy every day. I want to find ways to help someone every day. This passage from Harold Shank's Children Mean the World to God always inspires me to pursue mercy in life:
"Lydell Thomas leads a large inner city ministry in Nashville. He taught me about 'aggressive mercy.' Often we wait for people to come to us. Begging destroys dignity. People who ask for a handout must submit to our tests of efficiency before we will engage mercy. Lydell urges us to be more aggressive in showing mercy. He told about a young mother and her children who attended church one Sunday for the first time. A visitation worker called on the family the next day. The worker noticed the woman and her children had no furniture and passed the word on to a minister who dropped by later to confirm the report. While there, the minister asked the young mother a question.
"'Would you mind if we brought a couch, a couple of chairs, and a bed over to your apartment? We can have the truck stop by tomorrow if it is convenient.'
"The young mother and her kids stared in disbelief. Pure mercy is a rare commodity. After saying 'yes,' questions started coming to their mind. Who are these people? Why do they care? Why are there no strings? Why is there no interrogation? They went back to church and came to know God.
"We need aggressive mercy. We must be looking for children in need and finding ways to serve them, not waiting for them to come to us. We should be seeking them out, standing at the gate looking down the road to see if there is someone we can share our compassion with today" (p. 207).